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© William James Warren/Science Faction/Corbis
Incomplete, smoothed-over versions of this Elmore James cover have appeared on other posthumous Hendrix releases (Jimi Hendrix: Blues, South Saturn Delta and War Heroes), but this recording from April 1969 packs a wallop. One can only hope this is how Hendrix intended it.
The guitarist had tinkered with the song before, but now, working with Billy Cox and drummer Rocky Isaac (from a Maryland based group called The Cherry People), he quickens the chugging tempo and elongates the arrangement, most of which is an orgy of fuzzed-out, wah-wah-wonderful soloing.
Hendrix’s uncanny ability to combine guitar lines that are by turns raw and refined, spontaneous and shrewdly crafted is a thing of rare beauty. On Bleeding Heart, his artistic impulses are driven by so much emotion that it‘s a wonder the song can contain them all.